Thursday, November 15, 2012

T says smartphone ticket app is a hit with commuter rail riders

MBTA Photo
The app is popular, with thousands signed up just two days after its release. 
MBTA commuters have jumped at the chance to pay for tickets via their smartphones, downloading the T’s new mobile ticketing app 6,000 times since its release Monday, the T said.
“There’s been a lot of positive feedback — many are excited about the app and it’s more convenient for them,” said acting General Manager Jonathan Davis.
Developed by the British mobile-ticketing company Masabi, the app, is currently only available to commuters who use lines originating at North Station. Davis said the app is a more cost-effective alternative to installing more ticket vending machines.
The app is free to download on Android and iPhone devices. A user inputs credit card information to buy a ticket. The ticket is displayed on the phone in black and white until the user presses the “activate” button when the conductor nears. Then the ticket will be rendered in color for a limited time before the ticket expires.
Conductors also like the new ticket. “We worked with them from the beginning and heard positive feedback from them, too, during that process,” Davis said.
Only single-ride and 10-ride passes are currently available on the app. Davis hopes that monthly passes will be offered on the app by sometime in January and that riders who are part of corporate pass programs will also be able to use the app in the future.
“We’re waiting to work out the app with workplaces and schools,” Davis said. “The corporate program has a few more hurdles before it can be included.”
Commuters who take trains from South Station and ride harbor ferries can expect to see the app deployed in December, Davis said. A BlackBerry application is also in the works.

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